Re: Geronimo

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Posted by Tom on July 07, 1998 at 21:54:18:

In Reply to: Re: Geronimo posted by Petra on July 07, 1998 at 02:40:36:

: And once again I wondered, what if one of us with today's knowledge of history could go back in time, what would we do? Could there have been anything that might have prevented, stopped, or even just postponed white settlement? Well, who knows.. But I do like to speculate over that.
: Petra

Here is something speculate. In 1996 the military historian, John Keegan, released a book called "Fields of Battle: Wars of North America." John Keegan, for those who are unfamiliar with him, is considered one of the finest military historians of our time. One of his books "The Face of Battle" is considered a revolutionary landmark in the field of military history. Keegan is not only considered one of the most lucid and thought-provoking military historians; but he is also a fantastic writer.

In "Fields of Battle" Keegan discusses points of American military history. The most provoking chapter was the one entitled "Forts of the Plains" which focused on the Plains Indian Wars. This chapter mainly focuses on the Little Big Horn with Keegan describing General Custer as not being a "nice" man. But the really interesting part are his thoughts on the Plains Indians whom he feels were a galloping, slave-taking people whose entire culture revovled around hunting and warfare. He believes that they were the North American equivilant of the Huns, the Magyars, and the Mongols which is why many European emigrants had no sympathy for Indians especially those from Eastern Europe whose history is a litany of the terrors that the "horse-peoples" inflicted upon them. Also Keegan argues that the claim of less than a million people to land that could easily support millions of people directly as well as millions abroad with its exported produce as not the claim of "oppressed minorities" but of the "selfish rich." Keegan is not entirely unsympathetic to the plight of the Plains tribes, whose final fate he describes a "ultimatily tragic," but he believes that if it was their fate to run into a people just as tough and as warlike as themselves, veterans of the Civil War, then "so be it." He also reminds the reader that sentimentality should not blind students of history to a record of "savagery inflicted as well as savagery suffered."

Before I get torn apart for anything written above I just want to remind people that these are NOT my opinions or thoughts but are those of John Keegan. "Fields of Battle" is probably easily available in any bookstore or library for those who want to get the info straight from the source rather than my paraphrased account.

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